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Minister mocked for comparing Boris Johnson’s Partygate fine to a speeding ticket: UK politics live | Politics

05.03

Starmer says Tory MPs ought to be ashamed of defending PM over breaking lockdown guidelines

Keir Starmer has additionally ridiculed the declare that Boris Johnson’s fine for breaking lockdown guidelines was like a speeding ticket. In an interview on ITV’s Lorraine this morning, he mentioned:

I’ve by no means had anyone break down in entrance of me as a result of they couldn’t drive at 35mph in a 30mph zone; I’ve had no finish of individuals in tears – in actual bits – about complying with guidelines that basically, actually damage them.

In a reference to ministers like Brandon Lewis, Starmer mentioned there had been a “pathetic display of Tory MPs going out to defend the indefensible” and it was “something they all ought to be ashamed of”.

04.57

In his in a single day story my colleague Aubrey Allegretti confirms that the native elections have change into the brand new Sue Gray report – the occasion being cited by Tory MPs because the second when they might take a resolution about eradicating Boris Johnson. (“Now” by no means appears to be the best time.)

In an interview on the Today programme, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the Conservative 1922 Committee, mentioned that his colleagues weren’t calling for the prime minister to go for the time being as a result of “they are withholding their judgment and waiting to see what happens”.

He mentioned he needed to see “all the evidence” which would come with whether or not extra fines are issued, what Sue Gray has to say when she publishes her ultimate, full report into Partygate, and what the decision of the British individuals is within the native authorities elections.

Triggering a management contest now can be a mistake, he mentioned. He defined:

At a time when 1000’s of our constituents are dealing with the largest squeeze of their price of residing for a era, when we face a bloody warfare in Europe the like of which we haven’t seen for the reason that second world warfare, after we are seeing a slowdown of the world economic system due to all of that – to pressure the prime minister out and have instability on the prime of presidency for at the least two months, as I do know as treasurer of the 1922 after we re-selected a successor to Theresa May, I feel can be not within the nation’s pursuits.

04.48

Comparing PM’s lockdown fine to parking ticket ‘insult to bereaved households’, says Ed Davey

Ed Davey, the Lib Dem chief, has referred to as Brandon Lewis’s feedback this morning (see 9.34am) “an insult to bereaved families”. He mentioned in a assertion:

The excuses of Conservative ministers are getting extra pathetic by the day. There is a large distinction between getting a parking fine and Boris Johnson breaking his personal lockdown guidelines.

It is an insult to bereaved households and all those that made big sacrifices whereas Johnson partied in Number 10. Conservative MPs want to uncover their ethical spine and sack Johnson as a substitute of defending the indefensible.

04.34

Brandon Lewis mocked for comparing Johnson’s Partygate fine to a speeding ticket:

Good morning. It used to be mentioned that Boris Johnson was a politician who at all times refused to apologise for something. While in some respects true (though most politicians are loth to problem an apology), it’s now not a helpful remark to make about Johnson as a result of he has now established fairly a substantial again catalogue of Partygate apologies. We will get one other addition to the gathering immediately.

Today’s is probably going to be modelled on the assertion he made on digital camera at Chequers a week in the past immediately which began:

Today I’ve obtained a fixed-penalty discover from the Metropolitan police relating to an occasion in Downing Street on 19 June 2020, and let me say instantly that I’ve paid the fine and I as soon as once more supply a full apology.

And in a spirit of openness and humility, I need to be utterly clear about what occurred on that date.

Over the final week a few of Johnson’s aides and allies have been briefing journalists, with out attribution, that the fine doesn’t matter a lot as a result of it’s akin to a parking ticket, or a speeding offence. This morning. Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, tried deploying this argument on the document. He advised Sky News:

I feel we do see constantly, whether or not it’s by way of parking fines or speeding fines, ministers of each events over time have been in that position. We’ve had prime ministers prior to now who’ve obtained penalty notices, from what I can see, and in addition frontbench ministers.

I noticed there was a parking discover that Tony Blair had as soon as. We’ve seen frontbench Labour ministers and, let’s be frank, authorities ministers as nicely.

You’ve requested me, can somebody who units the legal guidelines and the principles, can additionally they be somebody who breaks the principles. That clearly has occurred with a variety of ministers over time.

It was not clear what Lewis was referring to – Blair by no means drove a automobile when he was PM, so parking tickets have been a matter for his driver – however the folly of constructing the parking/speeding ticket comparability have been highlighted when Lewis tried it once more an hour or so in a while the Today programme. He mentioned there had been instances prior to now the place Labour or Conservative ministers got speeding fines (no point out of Blair and a parking ticket this time). When the presenter, Mishal Husain, requested him to make clear this, Lewis mentioned:

As I say, if any person will get a speeding ticket – and I’m not in any manner attempting to equate a speeding ticket that any person has had with the state of affairs of the sacrifices individuals made by way of Covid, I’ll be actually clear about that …

Husain interrupted, telling Lewis: “You’ve actually literally just done that.” Later she advised him:

These have been guidelines that we have been advised we couldn’t even flex as a result of lives are at stake. This was a second of nationwide disaster during which all our lives modified. And you’re basically downplaying that by bringing in some spurious studies that you simply’ve heard with out even backing.

At this level Lewis retreated, falling again on his level that when Johnson advised MPs that the principles had been following in No 10, he was saying what he believed to be true on the time.

Opposition celebration MPs have ridiculed Lewis for his feedback. This is from the Green MP Caroline Lucas.

Oh spare us Brandon Lewis – have some self respect & cease attempting to defend PM. “If someone gets a speeding ticket …I’m not in any way trying to equate a speeding ticket with sacrifices people made.” That’s precisely what you’re doing & trashing decency in public life @BBCr4today

— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) April 19, 2022

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Oh spare us Brandon Lewis – have some self respect & cease attempting to defend PM. “If someone gets a speeding ticket …I’m not in any way trying to equate a speeding ticket with sacrifices people made.” That’s precisely what you’re doing & trashing decency in public life @BBCr4today

— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) April 19, 2022

And that is from the Plaid Cymru MP Hwyel Williams.

Across the UK good individuals are shouting on the Today Programme R4 as Brandon Lewis MP discredits and debases himself by defending Boris Johnson. Tory MPs ought to realise that is now not nearly Johnson's destiny, however about their very own credibility with the individuals who elect them.

— Hywel Williams AS/MP (@HywelPlaidCymru) April 19, 2022

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Across the UK good individuals are shouting on the Today Programme R4 as Brandon Lewis MP discredits and debases himself by defending Boris Johnson. Tory MPs ought to realise that is now not nearly Johnson’s destiny, however about their very own credibility with the individuals who elect them.

— Hywel Williams AS/MP (@HywelPlaidCymru) April 19, 2022

Here is my colleague Aubrey Allegretti’s in a single day preview story. Although there might be curiosity within the precise nature of Johnson’s newest apology, and the Tory response to it, the principle information immediately is probably going to come when Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker, pronounces how he’ll reply to opposition calls for a debate on a movement about claims Johnson intentionally misled MPs. It appears we’re probably to have a vote later this week on some type of contempt movement, both calling for an inquiry, or declaring outright that Johnson did deliberately mislead MPs. Given the scale of the Tory majority, Johnson is sort of sure to win, however the opposition events need to disgrace the MPs who’ve to defend him.

Here is the agenda for the day.

10.30am: Energy corporations give proof to the Commons business committee about power costs.

11.30am: Downing Street holds a foyer briefing.

After 3.30pm: Boris Johnson is due to make a assertion to MPs, overlaying Ukraine and his fine for attending a shock party in No 10 in breach of lockdown guidelines.

Early night: Johnson is due to tackle a non-public meeting of Conservative MPs.

I strive to monitor the feedback under the road (BTL) however it’s unattainable to learn all of them. If you could have a direct question, do embody “Andrew” in it someplace and I’m extra probably to discover it. I do strive to answer questions, and if they’re of normal curiosity, I’ll publish the question and reply above the road (ATL), though I can’t promise to do that for everybody.

If you need to entice my consideration shortly, it’s most likely higher to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to e mail me at [email protected]

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